Is It Time To Give Up?My mother has had MS since before I was born. She's been in a wheelchair since I was in 8th grade (8 or more years), and because of the difficulties she has faced, she has developed some highly irrational fears. She is not only afraid to leave the house, but she is afraid to even leave her bed. She has not gotten out of bed for any reason - literally - for several months. Sadly, she has given up on herself. She hates who she's become and has developed the belief that the entire worth of a human being is in his or her ability to move. This beautiful woman cannot and will not use her situation for the better. I believe very strongly that all situations, however terrible, can be changed for the better and that all are capable of hope. The key is in looking at the situation and accepting it as it is. At that point, one can ask him/herself "So what can I do given the circumstances. Often holding on to what we cannot have will plunge us deeper into a bad situation. My mother cannot let go of her need to be what she once was. She will never have that back and letting go is very important. Unfortunately, as stated above, she has given up, but she won't let go.
Admitably, I grow angry with her. She cancels more doctors appointments than she goes to because she is afraid to leave her bed. She falls into fits and tantrums because she cannot walk and is frustrated that her life is not what it once was. She is as helpless as an infant and acts like a child who is going through the depression and confusion of teen angst. I often feel like I am her mother. Her personality is the type that needs control, and, because of her condition, she has none. Therefore, she desires more, and seeks it in her relationships.
I am most angry that she is letting fear control her life and that she won't let herself heal. I am angry for her sake because I can see a better life for her. I can see the way she could change and improve her circumstances. I am angry that she has turned toward self hatred and that suicide is only a pill bottle away. Only in this last bit is there a good use for fear. She has told my father and me countless times that the only reason she hasn't killed herself is that she fears a worse fate in hell. It hurts and angers me that this is how she lives her life.
Clearly my anger isn't helping. Clearly my lectures are unheard. I've been told too many times that I need to be more supportive, that I need to have greater empathy, that I need to just let her be and just love her. Well, it is because I love her that I feel this anger. It is because I love her that I lecture her and try to coach her on ways she can improve her life. It is because I love her that I hate her fear. I know she would prefer if I never say anything again about anything she can do better. She hates my lectures and my comments. I don't try to judge her, but I do try to mention things she has control of and can improve. She, of course, sees this as me judging her and thinking very little of her. She never hears how much I tell her I love her and think she's beautiful. She never hears me when I tell her she has the power to change her life for the better. She can never understand when I tell her that there is hope.
People say one should never give up. It's never okay to throw in the towel. Well, there are times when giving up is the better option. I'd like to say that my mother would be happier if I just shut up and let her live her life. If she would be happier, I'd do just that. There is nothing that would make her happier, though. The only thing she wants in this world is to be healed, to be able to walk again, to no longer be dependent on other people. Clearly what I have to say isn't helping. I just don't know what to do. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. I don't know how else to approach the situation. Should I just give up? Should I just nod and smile and say everything will be alright? Should I pretend like there is nothing she can do, that she's completely hopeless and feel sorry for her? I just don't know if I'm capable of giving up on her. I know that's what she wants but I don't think I can give that to her. It is hard to sit there and see such a beautiful person waste way and turn into a bitter old woman. She has so much potential even in her current state. It is not a sin to be dependent on others. It is hard and humiliating. She lives in hell on earth and most of that will never get better. However, I really truly think she could be happy again, at least happier. She just won't do it. Should I just let her be?